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News and Info Forums => Interested in Korat? Let us answer your questions about => Topic started by: thaiga on September 13, 2013, 03:25:29 PM

Title: A weekend in the country ♦ Wang Nam Khieo
Post by: thaiga on September 13, 2013, 03:25:29 PM
A weekend in the country

(http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/1111.gif) (http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/2222.gif) (http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/3333.gif)

Wang Nam Khieo is quieter than it's been for years, making this the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with its bucolic pleasures


Wang Nam Khieo district in Nakhon Ratchasima has long been a convenient getaway for Bangkokians seeking a break from the concrete jungle, an agro-tourism destination within easy reach of the city. On a recent visit, however, the effects of an ongoing conflict about land use were plain to see.

I drove along a strangely deserted road, up and down rolling hills dotted with attractive looking resorts, coffee shops and steak restaurants. Most of these businesses have bold themes designed to catch the eye of passing motorists, with well-tended gardens, lots of space to chill out and features sure to appeal to snap-happy vacationers. But only a handful of these places seemed to be open.

This was a couple of weeks ago, before the latest move by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to reclaim land illegally occupied by resort operators, and Wang Nam Khieo was eerily quiet. There were so few people around that the place looked like it did about a decade ago before the tourist boom. On my last visit, just three years before, it was packed with city folks making the most of a long public-holiday weekend.

Taking advantage of its proximity to the capital, Wang Nam Khieo initially impressed travellers with its vineyards and organic farms. Then smaller businesses mushroomed with a host of resorts and restaurants opening to cater to the influx of visitors. The area got especially busy on weekends and its potential was spotted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand which began promoting the district as an agro-tourism destination.

The problem, however, is that most of the land in this district that is not part of Thap Lan National Park is occupied by people who hold Sor Por Kor title deeds issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

And, by law, Sor Por Kor land can be used for agricultural purposes only.

In 2000, realising that trouble was brewing, Wang Nam Khieo residents met with representatives of various state agencies to discuss land use and to delineate the boundaries of the national park more clearly so as to more effectively prevent encroachment. A definitive map was drawn up which would have allowed those who have settled in the area before a certain date to remain where they were. Unfortunately, however, this plan was never implemented.

The subsequent tourism boom led to conflicts between business operators and state agencies. In 2010, it was found that 40% of the Sor Por Kor land in the district, some 139,300 rai, was being used for non-agricultural purposes, a clear breach of the law.

Two years ago, Thap Lan National Park officials began taking aggressive action to close resorts built within the park's boundaries and this has had a negative effect on tourism-related businesses in the area, with tourist traffic dropping dramatically.

But Wang Nam Khieo still has a lot to offer. Its organic vegetable farms and flower nurseries are worth a visit and attraction such as Khao Phaeng protected, a lookout point in the national park from which gaur can often be spotted, and Thai Samakkhee Village have not lost their lustre.

Every cloud has a silver lining and the benefit to be derived from the ongoing land-use conflict is that many of the people offering accommodation in the area are more willing to let travellers bargain down the price. Restaurants and coffee shops are also rather quiet so you can enjoy a delicious meal without having to endure a long wait for your food to arrive.

''Now we only get customers on the weekends,'' said Somnuk Chanrong-savetkul, owner of the Ban Lekti Ha restaurant. ''The tourists tend to stick around until Sunday afternoon and then everything is quiet again until the following Saturday. I'm not sure how much longer businesses can stand this situation.

''Twenty years ago, Wang Nam Khieo was a hot and arid place with very little vegetation. It only became green when people like me settled here. In my opinion, this conflict should be settled by reference to the agreement made back in the year 2000. That plan, which was accepted by all the relevant state agencies and private sector organisations, was generous enough; it allowed the people of Wang Nam Khieo to co-exist with the forest.''

As I roamed the empty roads of Wang Nam Khieo, enjoying the unaccustomed tranquillity, I couldn't help hoping that this land-use conflict would soon be resolved in an amicable fashion and that holiday-makers would return in droves to this delightful corner of Nakhon Ratchasima. bangkokpost (http://www.bangkokpost.com/travel/travel-feature/368074/a-weekend-in-the-country?utm_content=buffer598ea&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer)

(http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/4444.gif) (http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/5~50.gif) (http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/6666.gif)
Title: Re: A weekend in the country ♦ Wang Nam Khieo
Post by: Roger on September 13, 2013, 05:22:30 PM
For a quiet night or two away, Chantara Valley is highly recommended, (about 5 km down the road to Khao Yai from WNKhieo). See their website.
Beautiful chalet houses with a Full Moon glass feature in the roof apex, are normally about B4000 a night I believe, but at quiet times, you can get in for B2000, say midweek. Camping too. Goodish large restaurant on the main road about 1/2 km away.
Title: Re: A weekend in the country ♦ Wang Nam Khieo
Post by: sicho on September 13, 2013, 09:31:43 PM
There are some good resorts up there but not enough restaurants. Some people may be drawn to the 'Cup of Love'!
Title: Re: A weekend in the country ♦ Wang Nam Khieo
Post by: Baby Farts on September 14, 2013, 09:14:36 AM
For a quiet night or two away, Chantara Valley is highly recommended, (about 5 km down the road to Khao Yai from WNKhieo). See their website.
Beautiful chalet houses with a Full Moon glass feature in the roof apex, are normally about B4000 a night I believe, but at quiet times, you can get in for B2000, say midweek. Camping too. Goodish large restaurant on the main road about 1/2 km away.

Iv'e been to that place.  It really is nice!
Title: Re: A weekend in the country ♦ Chantara Valley
Post by: thaiga on September 14, 2013, 01:09:27 PM
Looks very nice roger

(http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/8a4b6ad617d4dc16a1ec467aae67e69a2large_239x239.gif) (http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/b34792dc98803a973e88ac0e1943b99f2large_239x239.gif) (http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/bac569d3a85fa825b5e618ee40c11d612large_239x239.gif)

Price this time of the year 72 pounds

The average nightly rate for one room, double occupancy including base rate, taxes.


Chantara Valley (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajLpAXHxM0g#)


The Chantara Valley provides a garden as well as comfortable rooms.

Equipped to ensure a comfortable stay, rooms have a DVD player, cable / satellite channels and a flat-screen TV. Each offers amenities such as a refrigerator, a hair dryer and a mini bar. Bathrobes are also provided for extra comfort.

With a relaxing setting, the Chantara Valley's on-site bar offers a choice of premium beverages.
Title: Re: A weekend in the country ♦ Cup Of Love ♦ video
Post by: thaiga on September 14, 2013, 07:35:22 PM
Some people may be drawn to the 'Cup of Love'!


                                              A Cup Of Love located in Khao Yai


(http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/11_239x239.gif) (http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/6_239x239.gif) (http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/5_239x239.gif)

            A fun environment for you and your family to visit. There are also camping facilities in their farm.



a cup of love วังน้ำเขียว.mpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0QmDZP8h1I#)

Title: Re: A weekend in the country ♦ Wang Nam Khieo
Post by: sicho on September 14, 2013, 10:10:40 PM
It's the first time that I've encountered 'cup of love' used in this context. I once got a dig in the ribs from a lady for using the term and she hadn't been even to Thailand.
Title: Re: A weekend in the country ♦ Wang Nam Khieo
Post by: thaiga on September 15, 2013, 01:11:13 PM

Oh you mean the love cup ;D    (http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/es~0.jpg)

                                                         Charley Pride - Cup Of Love 

Charley Pride - Cup Of Love (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avbZrtNOYic#)
Title: Re: A weekend in the country ♦ Wang Nam Khieo
Post by: sicho on September 16, 2013, 09:28:42 AM
I think you know what I mean!  ;)
Title: Re: Flora Park flower display festival back in Wang Nam Keaw
Post by: thaiga on October 25, 2013, 04:06:47 PM
The Wang Nam Keow district of Nakhon Ratchasima is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and provides the perfect setting for the Wang Nam Keow Flora Fantasia flower festival.

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand, in cooperation with Flora Park and the Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Administrative Organization and the private sectors, will hold a “Flora Park…back in Wang Nam Keaw..again” flower display festival.

The event will showcase more than 100,000 flowers of over 20 different species, on a 360 degree angle viewpoint with the spectacular vertical garden. Over 5,000 English roses of 400 species will be arranged beautifully across the landscape.

According to Dr.Anan Dalodom, President of the Horticultural Science Society of Thailand, Flora Park is ready for the event, adding that the district has been known as one one of the places with the highest ozone concentration in the world, and the event is an a popular tourist destination.

The event will be held from November 1, 2013 to the March 31, 2014; on an area of over 50 rai at Khao Phaeng Ma, Wang Nam Keaw district, Nakhon Ratchasima province. Tickets will be priced at 100-150 baht for an adult and 50 baht for children and the elderly. For more information please visit www.facebook.com/floraparkWNK (http://www.facebook.com/floraparkWNK) or call 081-372-8851, 089-812-8851. NNT (http://thainews.prd.go.th/centerweb/newsen/NewsDetail?NT01_NewsID=WNECO5610250010004)
                                                                           video from 2011
Wangnamkeaw Flora Fantasia (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-di1Ig4v7Q#)

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Title: Re: A weekend in the country ♦ Farm Chokchai
Post by: thaiga on August 29, 2014, 02:28:51 PM
Farm Chokchai is taking huge steps in going green

Things have changed since my first visit to Farm Chokchai, one of the largest cattle ranches in Southeast Asia, a decade ago.

(http://koratfart.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10747/18.jpg)
Growing organic salad vegetables.

The farm, which is about 20,000 rai and has 3,000 cows in the Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima, has launched new activities that can also be tailored to suit the needs of visitors.

Called the "CSR & Knowledge Tourism" (CSR stands for corporate social responsibility), the programme is created for private or public organisations to learn how the farm manages to put social responsibility on its agenda.

Upon entering the farm, all visitors have to pass its hygienic station to kill germs on hands and shoes. Each touring group gets a guide, while experts are on hand for a more detailed experience.

The first station is one of the farm's more popular activities — cow milking. Each cow produces up to 18 litres of milk every day or about 27,000 litres from 1,500 cows. Visitors are invited to try milking the cows, which are locked in a body-length station so they cannot kick the volunteers.

At the ice cream workshop every participant learns how to make Umm! Milk, which is Farm Chokchai's brand of milk ice cream. The little secret that makes the ice cream stand out is the addition of fresh cream. Once the ice cream is made, it is frozen and visitors are allowed to take it home at the end of the trip. In an effort to reduce gasoline costs for its 80 farm vehicles, Farm Chokchai produces bio-diesel. The bio-diesel is made from used cooking oil, gathered from all branches of Chokchai restaurants and staff households. The farm produces 600 litres of bio-fuel a day and uses it for 20 vehicles. It aims at producing 4,000 litres of bio-fuel out of 10,000 litres of used oil, daily. So far, the farm has cut fuel costs by 5 baht per litre.

Next on the green trail is the earthworm station. Staff member Pitsamai Saisuk said the farm has been raising earthworms since 2006 to decompose its organic waste.

"Earthworms are good because they can help eat a lot of the leftover food," she said, adding that the earthworms can be raised in doubled plastic bins or plastic shelves, which did not consume much space, and are good for those living in condos or houses.

The earthworms produce vermicompost, which looks like coffee grounds, and an odourless brown liquid, which makes good fertiliser, Pitsamai said.

Farm Chokchai has been using the fertiliser for its organic vegetables, fruits and rice for many years. The farm grows 10 types of salad vegetables, 60kg of which is harvested each day. The vegetables are used in its restaurants at the farm and in Bangkok. The fertiliser is also available for sale. Last but not least is making plant pots using cow dung. The cows of Farm Chokchai drop 17 tonnes of dung a day. While most of the dung is used to produce bio-gas, the leftover is dried and sterilised, to remove the strong odour. It is then ground and mixed with flour paste (paeng piak), so it becomes more like playdough.

After the dung is formed into a plant pot, it is dried in the sun for a day. The pot can then be used to transfer plants into the soil, taking four months to decompose and acting as a fertiliser. The farm sells dung pots as souvenirs.

Farm Chokchai also offers 64 air-conditioned tents for overnight stays. The tents are permanently pitched in its forestry area, which was planted in 1992 as a social responsibility programme. The aim is to compensate for the total carbon footprint emitted yearly from its cattle business, which is 1,953,000 CO2 emissions a year.

"We take responsibility for the impact of our business. We know that a cattle ranch releases carbon emissions so we planted trees to absorb the greenhouse gas," said Farm Chokchai group managing director and CEO Choak Bulakul.

Over the past 22 years, the trees have become 1,300 rai of forest area, of which 250 rai is reserved for camping.

Farm Chokchai not only offers a weekend family destination, but also a knowledge-based centre where representatives of organisations can learn more about CSR programmes and can apply the practices for their own good.

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An ice cream-making station. From chokchai is on km159 of highway 2

Bangkokpost (http://www.bangkokpost.com/travel/travel-feature/429129/a-land-of-plenty)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEx_fZGnMPI (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEx_fZGnMPI#)